Black Forest fire 55% contained but 483 homes destroyed

Firefighters in Colorado had the Black Forest fire 55 percent contained Saturday evening, allowing thousands of people to return to their homes, officials said.

Many others, however, were being forced to wait until the 5-day-old wildfire, which has consumed 483 homes and killed two people, was corralled further, The Denver Post reported.

Rich Harvey, the federal incident commander overseeing the firefighting efforts, said crews would keep at it Sunday and full containment could come by mid-week, the newspaper said.

"We did make good progress all around the fire today," Harvey said.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa counseled the evacuees to be patient.

"Please don't sneak in," Maketa told them. "When it is safe to open it up, we will open it up."

The Post said investigators had yet to determine the cause of the fire, though the sheriff said it likely was human-caused.

though Maketa has said it is likely to have been human-caused.

The identities of the two fire fatalities had not been released.

"I'm thankful we did not have greater loss of life," Maketa said.


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